Carr’s articles for The New York Times, where he joined the business section in 2002, remain as relevant and readable today ... candid, chatty, punches resolutely unpulled ... Sure, it’s a shame we’ll never read [Carr's] words on Trump and co., but it’s all there, in these essays: his hate for bullies and love for news media, his personal integrity, intelligence, and empathy. We should marvel at the opportunity to read him again.
We have sorely needed the grounding provided by Final Draft ... In sentences 'as clear and straight as spring water,' to borrow a phrase from Rudyard Kipling, he wrote about media, politics, popular culture and other topics with an honest, often blunt, sometimes biting style that eviscerated phoniness, especially when it besmirched the craft he loved ... in lengthy profiles, [Carr] could embrace gifted celebrities, often addicts, with understanding ... In an unexpected gift to young journalists, the book contains the engaging syllabus for a communications class Carr taught at Boston University in 2014. Filled with knockout reading lists ... His own hard-won prism illuminates much of this gratifying book.
The mostly chronological layout of this collection allows readers to see Carr develop his style and hone his skills ... His takedowns of media and show business figures are lacerating and precise ... He’s especially tender with reformed and not-so-reformed addicts, having walked that path himself. While some pieces may seem dated, many address issues and people still on the scene today ... This collection will make readers wish Carr was still here to share his observations. A must for aspiring journalists and fans of Carr who want to read more of his award-winning reporting.